No. 1: 49ers cornerback Ambry Thomas
Stress this point: Cornerback Ambry Thomas will stay on San Francisco’s roster in 2022. No questioning that, especially after the third-round pick out of Michigan steadily improved after being forced into a starter’s role late during the regular season a year ago.
However, this isn’t to say Thomas is a fully polished product. At best, he’s third on the depth chart behind fellow cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and the 49ers’ top-end free-agent pickup from the offseason, Charvarius Ward, who almost automatically assumes the No. 1 spot at the position.
It’s surely possible all three wind up playing together in sub packages, considering the Niners said goodbye to nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams, who left for the Denver Broncos.
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Yet there’s equally as good a chance San Francisco isn’t done trying to infuse more talent into its cornerback room this offseason, and any early drafting of a defensive back who can play on either the boundary or at nickel would likely mean Thomas’ chances for becoming a starter are greatly diminished.
Again, this isn’t a massive risk to Thomas’ hopes of making the regular-season roster. Only a year into his cheap rookie contract, Thomas will be there unless he wholly flames out between now and Week 1.
His role, however, remains very much up in the air.